Driftwood Brewery Venatrix Framboise 2016 – Sour / Wild Ale at 7% ABV

Driftwood Brewery Venatrix Framboise 2016 Sour / Wild Ale at 7% ABV (C$15.99 at Oak & Vine, 650 ml, bottle date 6-Jan-2017, acquired 11-Mar-2017, reviewed 1-Apr-2017)

Appearance: muddy deep red with a fat finger of fizzy light beige head diminishing rapidly (and loudly!) to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: tart raspberries, yeast esters. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-light body, lively carbonation, off-dry mild tart finish. (3/5)

Huh. Well, I was initially excited by this – I mean, Driftwood is one of the most reliable breweries I can think of: of the 13 or so of theirs I had tried prior to this one, nine were 7/10 or better. So, I was pretty chuffed to see something by them I hadn’t tried, and in a style I enjoy, so I bought it gleefully. Then I started reading reviews, and had regret. It took me a few weeks to screw my courage to the sticking place and give it a try, whereupon I was sort of perversely disappointed to find that it wasn’t actually terrible. The aroma, while simple, is fairly authentic raspberry, and the taste is balanced sweet and tart, with a dry finish. And no, no phenols for me. (And yes, I’m sensitive to them – I usually get burnt rubber, instead of the “bandaid” description most people use, but regardless of what you call it, there’s none of that here.) On the other hand, it’s pretty straightforward, with no interesting complexity. OK, but not exciting. (13/20)

6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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